How One Nation propelled Labor to victory
Annastacia Palaszczuk has cruised back into office with the help of One Nation, ironically borrowing from Pauline Hanson's parochial playbook of slamming borders shut to outsiders.
One Nation's vote collapsed across the state, with Labor seen as a major beneficiary.
Analysts believe older One Nation voters worried about their health amid the COVID-19 pandemic turned to Labor because of Ms Palaszczuk's tough stance on border closures to 'keep Queenslanders safe'.
It was a domestic nod to Ms Hanson's rise to power in the mid-1990s on a strong anti-immigration platform.
Last night, One Nation had recorded just 7 per cent of the vote statewide, down from nearly 14 per cent in 2017.
Strong swings against the party were recorded in many north and central Queensland seats including traditional strongholds such as Hervey Bay and Pumicestone, where it suffered swings of 13 per cent.
2020 QLD state election results
- LNP 0
- ALP 0
- ONP 0
- UAP 0
- KAP 0
- OTH 0
- GRN 0
Labor was claimed a surprise victory from the LNP in Hervey Bay, one of the original 11 seats which fell to One Nation in the historic 1998 election, and also snared Pumicestone.
Labor candidates Adrian Tantari (Hervey Bay) and Ali King had last night scored positive swings of 10.3 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively.
Sky News commentator Alan Jones said 39 seats at the 2017 election had a One nation vote of '20 per cent and beyond'.
"Those votes had to find their place somewhere tonight and it's clear that a lot of them have gone to Labor," he said.
Labor legend Graham Richardson said it was no surprise that the One Nation vote moved towards the ALP.
"I don't think Palaszczuk's ever been thrown off course, she just keeps going in the same direction," he said.
"Pauline mightn't like it but Queenslanders obviously do."
One Nation admitted its major focus was holding its only Queensland seat, Mirani, west of Mackay.
"I think we had net zero game,'' party spokesman James Ashby said.
"The primary focus was to re-elect Stephen Andrew in Mirani."
Mr Ashby said the apparent drop off in support for One Nation may not look so severe in the next few days.
"You look at the seats of Keppel and Rockhampton _ I am not saying we are going to win those but there is still a hefty number of votes to count.''
One Nation, whose resurgence impacted on a host of seats in the 2017 election by way of preferences, was recording a plummeting vote in seats right across the state in early counting.
But party boss, Senator Hanson, remained defiant even as the numbers dropped away, insisting it might be a long while before counts were finalised.
"I am not really that concerned,' Senator Hanson said.
"A lot of these polling booths, if you look at Rockhampton … many won't be counted for days.
"I think it is going to be too close to call tonight.''
Senator Hanson called for Queensland to reopen the border early in the pandemic, saying it was "destroying people's lives' and threatening a High Court challenge to the 'unconstitutional' border closure
She also urged vulnerable Australians to 'lock yourselves away' so the borders could reopen to provide relief for suffering tourism operators.
But Senator Hanson was largely invisible throughout the election campaign.
One Nation changed the electoral landscape in 1998 when 11 One Nation MPs stormed into the Queensland Parliament in the state election.
That followed on from Senator Hanson's surprise win in the federal seat of Oxley in the 1996 election.
In the 2017 Queensland election, the revamped and resurgent One Nation Party had serious preference impacts on more than 16 seats.
That election also produced a new One Nation state MP in the form of Mr Andrew.
Senator Hanson's One Nation party has strong links to Katter's Australian Party and shares many of the same values.
Senator Hanson and Bob Katter even spent time together on the campaign trail earlier this year.
But the two parties do not agree on everything, one point of difference being the KAPs desire to form a new state in the north.
Originally published as How One Nation propelled Labor to victory